When we remain in the same industry or company for a very long time we become an authority of that vertical. Very true. But is that a good thing? Yes and no.
Yes, because we know the nitty gritties and can predict impending trends and risks involved. Simultaneously, we also run the risk of becoming highly risk-averse. The comfort zone is so comforting that we get lulled into complacency and often dub this situation as us being ‘industry experts’.
For over a decade now, I have had the good fortune of having worked in different industry verticals. And during my tenure in each, I have soaked in the best practices and carried a wealth of learnings along to implement in the next. With a wee bit of customization, of course.
Life has not been easy when one has to convince company veterans (read as employees who have been with the organization for centuries). I have experienced paranoia amongst colleagues when I have suggested that we try out something new. With great trepidation they have agreed to go ahead with the plan, only to chicken out at the last minute. Sometime. Specially when the initiative has never been thought of within the precincts of the organization and involves some amount of finances.
What I am trying to insinuate here is that we should understand that familiarity and abiding by practiced norms blinds us to our ‘faults’. We put on our blinders. Never think of doing things differently.
But it is important to remember that perspectives from third parties can open up avenues that we never though existed. One of my bosses had given me a very valuable advice. He had said – Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just grab someone else’s and go with it.
That is what I’d like to call customized innovation. I practice it and it has always worked!